What are the Best Tips for Living with Schizophrenia?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
A psychiatrist can help people to better understand schizophrenia.
A psychiatrist can help people to better understand schizophrenia.

Living with schizophrenia is not pleasant — it is decidedly not easy to live with any form of mental illness, especially when the burden of side effects from successful treatment is so profound for some people. There are some tips that can help make this condition survivable and easier to cope with. These principally concern having good and trustworthy psychiatric and therapeutic care, learning how to recognize early signs of problems, and learning about how the disease works and how it is expressed personally.

People with schizophrenia often have disordered thoughts, which cause them to be out of touch with reality.
People with schizophrenia often have disordered thoughts, which cause them to be out of touch with reality.

Schizophrenia is a medical condition that is no one’s fault. Those living with schizophrenia may feel worse if they think they somehow are responsible or weak for having symptoms. Learning to shed this stigma can be very difficult, and it’s principally where therapeutic help comes in.

Mourning the passing of a healthy self is part of learning to accept a difficult disease. Good therapeutic help from either a psychiatrist or psychotherapist can assist people in getting through this process, which can take many forms and have many levels. It is essentially grieving, and when done fully it can allow people to better assess their current situation and plan their lives.

Schizophrenia typically begins during childhood and gets progressively worse.
Schizophrenia typically begins during childhood and gets progressively worse.

Therapy can also be a useful way to learn about the disease, deal with life’s other problems as they emerge and watch for early signs of developing issues. These are important functions of psychiatric care too. Some people have both a psychiatrist and therapist and others see a psychiatrist for medical treatment and psychotherapy.

It’s vital, when living with schizophrenia, to develop a strong and trusting relationship with a psychiatrist. It’s often the case that people with this illness require changes in medications or adjustments to present medications. Having open and honest communication with a doctor eases this process, and greater trust on the part of the schizophrenic means early symptoms are more likely to be reported so that medication changes can be made earlier.

Communications with therapists or psychiatrists can help, but so can learning about the disorder. There are plenty of good books that are patient-centered that can help people learn more about their condition. A number of online resources exist too. For the most reputable information, people should look for those sources either written or edited by medical professionals.

Getting general information about schizophrenia is only half of it, because though there are symptoms in common with the different forms of it, everyone is an individual. Each individual may have distinct triggers and symptoms that might suggest need for different treatment. Becoming aware of the illness, as it personally occurs, can help people become aware of when things are not functioning right. This takes time to learn.

One of the biggest challenges for many schizophrenics is remaining on medication. When symptoms disappear, it can seem like there is no more need to take medication. Anyone living with schizophrenia must realize that remaining medicine-compliant is the only way to stay well. Without medicines, all the beautiful, functioning parts of the person may disappear into the disease, as suffering and difficulty begin. This is, arguably, not living with schizophrenia; it is suffering from it.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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    • A psychiatrist can help people to better understand schizophrenia.
      A psychiatrist can help people to better understand schizophrenia.
    • People with schizophrenia often have disordered thoughts, which cause them to be out of touch with reality.
      People with schizophrenia often have disordered thoughts, which cause them to be out of touch with reality.
    • Schizophrenia typically begins during childhood and gets progressively worse.
      Schizophrenia typically begins during childhood and gets progressively worse.